Each day I am able to wake up with the attitude of gratitude. I am grateful each day for who I have in my life as well as what I have.
I am constantly reminded of my G-Ma Christina. She is my inspiration! I never knew her to be upset, I grew up living right next to her and my G-Pa.. a 20 second sprint from door to door I suppose when I was a kid. I always loved going over to their house. She would have spritz cookies, or sugar cookies most times. We would bake or paint or just hang out. G-Pa would play old records of symphony concerts, concerto's, or just be watching his favorite television shows.
They lived in what would be termed as a shack. They had running water in the sink in the kitchen, took baths in a metal tub that they would pour hot water in. Their toilet was an outhouse (yes a real one). They had one car between the two of them, I don't know what they did before they retired exactly but I do know that they worked hard. They ended up having a large family, with at least one of the kids being born on the kitchen table.
My G-Ma would save foil, save containers, save old clothes, she reused them all, she made braided rugs out of her old nylons and all the old clothes. She would quilt using scraps and store her cookies in the old cottage cheese containers in the freezer. They ate government cheese which by the way I found to be the BEST CHEESE EVER! Every day they would go to the Senior Citizen Center for lunch then after lunch my G-Ma would quilt and my G-Pa would play pool. G-Ma would quilt with the ladies who thought she was no good. She would sit quietly and stitch with the other ladies most of whom didn't even speak to her.
I adored my G-Ma she was such a great role model for me, only now I am realizing the extreme impact that she's had on my life. I never heard her complain, I never heard her yell, curse, put anyone down, or gossip. She always wanted the best for everyone, and would do what she could. Their home was tiny, and full but tidy. She used everything she had, she didn't have much in her house that wasn't useful.
I never remember her watching television but she did love when G-Pa would play his music. G-Pa had built the television they used and I was always amazed by it. The atmosphere of their home inspired me. I was always happy there and would go to their home most days after school and most days during the summer.
When I went to college my aunts and uncles got together and added a bathroom to the outside of their little brick house. They installed new cabinets in the kitchen, new carpeting, and got them a newer living room set. They even got them one of those fancy recliners, that actually lift you up so you can get out of it easier.
Having spent so much time there I learned so much. Perseverance, kindness, consideration, compassion, grace, and patience are some of the qualities that my G-Ma exemplified for me. Now as I move through difficulties, I am reminded of the life that she shared with me. I am blessed, I always have been, my family is tremendous, my friends are the best, and my husband is my stabilizer.
I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes: Never, Never, Never Give Up! by Winston Churchill
My Grandmother never gave up, she stood fast and trod firmly forward, grounded in her faith knowing that God would provide. I have that same faith, as I tread forward blessed by all that I have.